Medical malpractice occurs when healthcare professionals fail to offer the standard duty of care to patients. In the United States, over 200,000 deaths are a result of medical malpractice or negligence. It is the third largest cause of death behind cancer and heart disease.
Wrong diagnosis, incorrect medication, botched surgery, or incorrect interpretation of lab results are caused by negligence and can lead to injuries and even fatalities. How can you hold a doctor or a medical practitioner accountable for such mistakes? Below is the checklist of the things to remember when you fall victim to medical malpractice.
1. Seek Alternative Medical Care
After suffering from medical malpractice, you could be in pain or displaying the symptoms of incorrect or improperly administered medication, treatment, or surgery. Immediately after recognizing there’s something wrong with your body, seek corrective medical care. This step is critical in ensuring your health, managing emergencies, and preventing future complications.
However, seeking medical attention from the same practitioner can present a conflict of interest. It’s hard to trust them after what happened and you might suspect they’ll find ways to compromise your case. An alternative health provider will, therefore, be the better choice.
2. Keep Documentation
As a victim, it’s vital to keep records or a journal of your injury and the monetary damages you’ve incurred. These documents would provide evidence to help strengthen your case. You also need the following:
Medical records- When seeking justice, medical records provide the basis for your case. They contain sensitive information so you should request them yourself. If the healthcare provider refuses to provide you these records, you can still obtain them through a subpoena after you file the case in court.
Certificate of Merit- In some states, a certificate of merit is required by the court for your case to proceed. Look for another healthcare provider who can attest to the negligence of your former provider during your treatment.
3. Talk to a Medical Malpractice Attorney
A medical malpractice attorney offers your case a chance to be legally assessed and heard. Your attorney will be your partner in dealing with the consequences of doctor negligence, determining which steps to take, and seeking compensation or justice.
Below are some of the benefits of hiring a lawyer for your medical malpractice case:
Statute of limitations- This refers to the threshold or time limit to initiate a case. This depends from one to another or state to state; some end after 1 year while others may be 2-3 years. If you’re wondering whether this prescriptive period has already lapsed, a lawyer can help identify or reactivate time-barred cases.
Out-of-court settlement- Seeking compensation through the legal system can be time-consuming and financially draining. If the medical professionals involved in your case are willing to sit on the table to discuss your case, this can be the better option for both of you.
Filing a Court Case- If you’re struggling because of the lack of cooperation from the medical provider or if you’ve received a low offer, your lawyer can initiate court proceedings.
A medical malpractice personal injury lawyer can use their experience and extensive knowledge to draft a compensation package which you can send to the injuring party. Their assistance can improve the speed of resolving and handling the case. Your lawyer can also offer an objective perspective to your case, especially because suffering from an injury can make you too emotional.
To get a fair and reasonable judgment or settlement, you need a professional by your side. Just make sure to first assess the suitability of the lawyer. Factors like relevant experience in the medical field, overall experience, online reviews, and referrals can help you find the perfect fit.
4. Keep Off Social Media
In the era of social media, it can be tempting to tell the world about your unfortunate experience. However, attempting to broadcast your case before it’s tried is ill-advised. The other party’s legal team can twist your words and use them against you in court. Posting about what you’ve gone through can also reduce the value of your claim.
5. Don’t Blackmail the Medical Provider
You may be tempted to seek the compensation you’re entitled to using unorthodox ways. However, if victims coerce or mention the need to be compensated to the doctors or the involved healthcare institution, the case is deemed compromised. Your actions can also be used against you in court when you’re recovering damages.
If you’re a victim of medical malpractice, seeking legal redress or fair compensation is naturally your next step. Hire a capable and experienced lawyer to ensure the smooth handling and speedy resolution of your case.